A 24-year-old woman from suburban New York City was identified Thursday as the person whose body was found inside a suitcase on the side of a road in Greenwich, Connecticut, authorities said Thursday.
Valerie Reyes, from New Rochelle, New York, had been reported missing and was last seen alive on the morning of Jan. 29, police said.
Her body was found bound inside a red suitcase near the side of a road early Tuesday.
"Her family was advised of the positive identification last night," Greenwich police Capt. Robert Berry said Thursday in a statement. "They are obviously devastated by the loss of Valerie and our heartfelt condolences go out to them."
Reyes was fully clothed with her hands and feet bound, officials said.
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Berry said the cause of death had not yet been confirmed by the medical examiner.
"Many pieces of possible physical evidence were collected and results from forensic analysis are pending," he said.
Reyes lived in the same apartment building as her dad, and family members hadn't heard from her since Jan. 28, New Rochelle police said. The family called New Rochelle police to report her missing on Jan. 30, authorities said.
In recent times, she had been suffering from depression and panic attacks, her family said.
Norma Reyes recalled a recent phone call from Valerie, who was worried someone was targetting her.
"Mommy I'm just having panic attacks, you know I fear for my life," the mother quoted her daughter as saying. "I feel like someone could come in the apartment and harm me."
Reyes never specified to her family who she thought could be targetting her.
"We don't even understand. The only thing that's weird is she was frightened for her life and then somebody ends up taking" her life, Norma Reyes said.
Highway workers found the suitcase around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, police said.
One of those workers allegedly snapped pictures of the body and Greenwich city officials put that employee on paid administrative, pending further investigation, officials said Thursday.
“The victim was a daughter, a sister and a cousin of a family who is suffering a tremendous loss at this time," Greenwich First Selectman Peter J. Tesei said in a statement. "This thoughtless and insensitive behavior by an employee is inexcusable. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Reyes’ family.”
David K. Li
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
Ron Allen is an NBC News correspondent based in New York.